One thing I've recently been wanting to do more of with the kiddos is small world play.
Using the sandbox was a natural idea for beach play, although we also could have set up a small sensory tub for this type of play.
Handful of people toys (we used our Playmobile figurines, we soaked them in soapy water afterwards to get the sand out)
Plastic sea creatures
I set the materials out in a tray near our sandbox and explained to the kids that they could use the materials to build a beach small world. We had Little Buddy (age 3) and Big Cousin (age 8) visiting that day, so this became a multi-age play activity.
The three kiddos quickly started working together to create their beach scene.
They were eager to set the people up on their "beach blankets" and to put up the umbrellas first. Next they created a beach line using the marbles to separate the ocean and the beach. At first the animals all went on the other side of the line. But later as the kids played the animals all started to come up on to the beach and blankets too.
The boys added some more pieces as their play progressed, including a plastic boat. They also started to turn the marbles into "pirate treasure." I loved seeing where they let their imagination take them with the materials.
I also loved seeing our sandbox play expand beyond the trucks and digging the boys usually do. It already has me thinking about other materials we might add to our sandbox play for even more creative play.
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